Saturday 07 July 2018
Throughout the existence of our agency we have noticed recurring statements from companies from little to no experience, we decided then to do a myth-busting session.
Take the time to read this article and it may change your perspective upon an activity that bears more myth than any other activity in the Digital marketing sphere because so many factors are to be considered that it makes reporting quite tough
1. SEO will increase my keyword positions from Day 1
Many people believe that as soon as you do a modification on a website it will be shown on the search engine straight after, this is a major myth due to the lack of understanding of how a search engine operates. This myth often creates a lot of frustration among customers and make them feel SEO results in wasted money.
Now here is the explanation, let us explain it in several steps. First of all, what you see when you google something is NOT the web as it is but a photograph of the web as it exists in the search engine database. That is the only way for a search engine to provide you with organised data that answer your search queries. This picture is updated on an irregular basis depending on the prominence of your website, that is to say, that if you are a large newspaper your page will be checked by Google’s indexing programmes aka Spiders way more often that if you are a local shoemaker.
Therefore the process of analysis and repositioning takes more or less time. We generally say to our customers that the first results should start to be visible between 3 to 6 months after the changes are processed.
2. SEO is a one-off
Many people assimilate SEO to just a one-off, it is hard to say where does this myth come from, but it is persistent. People feel that with £/€ 300 they can get their page on position 1 of all the search engines overnight. That would sound too beautiful
We generally ask our customers if it was hard to build the trust in their business. 9 times out of 10, they will say it was a nightmare and speak about how much they struggled to get the word out. Well SEO is very similar to this point, it is about building your reputation online in the same way you built it in the outside world. But as for everything related to trust and reputation, if you do not work on it you will be forgotten very soon. SEO is an optimisation process, not an update process. Therefore it cannot be a one-off, an update is about correcting things, while an optimisation is about improving things.
3. SEO does not work
We strongly believe that this myth has been spread out by either people that have been poorly served or by people that have done two months of SEO and did not see any evolutions. It is very frustrating to hear that all the time and we believe, this statement should be tackled. There is a very well-known proverb in English: “You get what you pay for…” If you are trying to save money on SEO, you should probably not spend a penny on it as it could lead to poor work that could damage your business.
SEO does work, slowly but it does, we encountered a case of a client with a website said himself: “I want to speed up my SEO growth, I just do not have the time to do this myself anymore, this guy in 1 year and a half had grown his audience from 2,000 visitors per month to over 10,000”. As well to justify our point, most bloggers rely exclusively on SEO, they do not use ads to bring traffic to their blogs, yet they rather monetise it.
4. People offering SEO are all thieves
Very common myth and probably the most justifiable one, but what are its origins? Throughout the years many people claimed to be SEO experts because it was a fancy term and lots of people thought it was something that could be the Holy Grail unfortunately only a few knew what they were talking about. The development of that industry saw a peak slightly before the Panda update came out. While in pre-Panda times you were buying links in bulk, after it you had to earn them in a niche that was relatable. Many SEOs were then considered as thieves that built up stuff very quickly and that led to crashes among the various websites. Additionally, the famous Thieves were people applying Black hat SEO (unethical SEO). This definitely did not help
As in any industry, you have black sheep, often these are making promises like “I’ll take you to position 1 for a “keyword A” in X amount of weeks”. If you hear that, run away! There is no way to make such accurate predictions in SEO as Search Engines can modify their algorithm any time. The only people that can achieve that are Black Hat SEOs, yet, they forget to mention that it will last as long as you are not spotted.
5. A small investment will achieve great results
$500 for a year of SEO, forget about it, SEO is something you have to consider over a long period of time generally 1 year. Another factor is how you invest that money? Lots of people from India or other countries with lower living standards than in Europe will offer cheap packages, yet, do they understand the market logic?
SEO is a long-term investment which means you should plan for at least 1 year of work. Also, you will have to align your ambitions with your budgets. So yes, proportionally, when compared to how much PPC costs, SEO is a small investment while you would spend €50,000 on PPC you could achieve the same results with half that amount in SEO. Though it is an approach that does not bring immediate results as these grow with time and as soon as you start doing some link building, it can become quite expensive. A lower end link in the UK costs around £150-200, the same link in Switzerland will probably cost you about 500-600 CHF (£380 / €420).
6. I can choose the keywords I want to rank No.1 for
This one is not really a myth as per its origin before about 10 years ago it was still possible to focalise yourself on one keyword or two. But times have changed…
Nowadays reality is simple, you cannot work exclusively target one or two keywords, and you have to focus on a semantic field through the use of synonyms or antonyms. You have to consider them as a group that works together and the push happens through the whole group not solely on a specific keyword.
7. SEO is dead
SEO is dead, possibly the longest-lasting myth in the world of SEO, for the past 20 or so years this myth existed. This is probably due to the major changes that affected the industry in the past few years.
SEO is a constantly evolving discipline, this evolution often generates fears, in a word SEO is not dead it changes, it evolves, that’s all…
8. I don’t need a professional to do SEO
The myth is that everyone can do SEO, sure everyone can do basic or fundamental SEO such as changing metadata, adding alt tags to images but some elements remain way beyond general knowledge such as what is an efficient information architecture, what is the best delivery approach between client-side or server-side.
The reality is cold when you have an ear infection beyond basic stuff your GP will refer you to an ENT specialist. Have you ever wondered why? The reason is simple, the specialist knows the ins and outs of his topic. Same applies to SEO; a developer may know a few bits of SEO, but, unless he/she has been an SEO professional; there is going to be a lot of techniques that he/she will not be aware of.
9. SEO is all about tricks
Well, this myth is mostly due to the lack of knowledge around SEO. But SEO is a real work…
Here are some of the activities that can be associated with SEO:
- Information architecture conception
- Implementation of optimised metadata
- Curation of pre-existing content and optimisation
- Optimising the User Experience (UX)
- Creation of schema markups
And these are only some of the tasks that require real work and not just mere tricks.
10. PPC and SEO work altogether
Lots of people believe that Organic Search and PPC work altogether and that high rankings on one will automatically help you rank on the other. It is absolutely untrue, but many people just think that as it engulfs into SEM (Search Engine Marketing) it is the same thing.
PPC is Paid Search, which means, the more you pay, the better you’ll be placed. SEO is organic search, therefore everything is linked to whether you are answering the search query efficiently. There is no correlation between any of these.
We hope this myth-busting session helped you get a clearer view of the myths you will hear about and why you may want to speak with us rather than be tricked visit our page about SEO.